Minneapolis-headquartered US Bank has launched a full-service ESG practice within its fixed income and capital markets business (FICM).
The announcement follows a surge in demand for ESG financing as well as the bank’s efforts to deliver sustainable financing solutions for clients.
Stephen Philipson, head of FICM, said that ESG was not only a “key element” of the bank’s core values but also a “foundational element” of its FICM efforts.
The bank led its first green bond in 2014, and since then has released a number of ESG-themed financings.
“Creating this new ESG vertical is a natural evolution of these efforts as we – and the markets – focus on increasing the positive impact we collectively have with our customers on our communities and society at large,” added Philipson.
Marcus Martin will lead the newly established ESG practice, while former BNP Paribas director, Ade Adedeji will join as director.
Adedeji will be responsible for coordinating the bank’s ESG financing efforts across all the business lines. Prior to his role at BNP Paribas, he worked at vice president at leveraged capital markets at RBS and held various finance roles at banks including Credit Suisse and Barclays.
“The bank’s demonstrated national leadership in lending with environmental and social impact helped draw me in,” said Adedeji. “But what solidified my decision was the strong commitment from bank leaders to continue to expand the ways we can help clients with sustainable financing.”
This year, US banks have stepped up their ESG activities, as clients demand more socially responsible investments.
In April, JPMorgan Chase’s commercial banking division set up a new ‘Green Economy’ team which provides banking services and expertise to firms that produce environmentally friendly goods and services or focus on environmental conservation.
However, ESG funds have come under criticism by regulators. In April, the Securities and Exchange Commission warned that ESG funds may not be what they claim.
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